the Life Skills Evaluation Web site. This Web site was developed
to assist WSU Cooperative Extension Family Living and 4-H Youth
Development faculty and staff to evaluate their programs that
teach life skills. Partial funding of this project is provided
by the Washington State Strengthening grant, "Partners in
PARTICIPATE IN THE LIFE SKILLS EVALUATION?
data are needed at the local and state level to provide information
to funders and decision-makers about the impacts our programs
have on youth and adult participants. This process will allow
for both local and statewide data to be aggregated and used in
a variety of reports.
CAN THIS EVALUATION SYSTEM DO FOR YOU?
system was created to measure growth in specific life skills as
a result of individuals' participation in a program. The information
gathered will tell you 1) if the program was effective in meeting
its life skill objective and 2) provide concrete evidence to stakeholders
concerning program effects.
This is not
a subject-matter assessment tool. It is not designed to measure
growth in content (i.e., knowledge of nutritional information
or computer technology). However, a section on content can be
added by the evaluator (select Learning
To Use The System).
OF PROGRAM EVALUATIONS
is the systematic collection of information to be used in assessing
program components in order to make decisions about the program
(Jacobs, 1988; Patton, 1997). There are two general types of evaluation:
Process evaluations focus on how well a program is working
by looking at the process of delivering a program, such as the
setup of the program and the activities used to teach the content.
Outcome evaluations examine whether or not changes have occurred
as a result of the program.
of program evaluations are used for one or more of the following
purposes (Patton, 1997):
data for program improvement.
the worthiness of a program (i.e., Did the participants gain
knowledge or change behavior?).
general knowledge about a program.
Plans for the evaluation of a program should occur from the very
start of a program, during the program planning stage (Jacobs,
1988). The evaluation then becomes integrated into the everyday
activities of the program.
The purpose of the evaluation should be tied to the developmental
stage of the program. Jacobs (1988) developed the Five-Tiered
Approach to Evaluation, suggesting that evaluation of new programs
focus on the process of accountability and improvement while the
evaluation of established programs move toward a level of assessing
outcomes or impact.
to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation
(1994), quality evaluations have four characteristics which need
to be kept in mind when planning an evaluation. These characteristics
- An evaluation needs to be useful for those involved
in the program.
- Evaluation procedures need to be ethical toward participants
and the least disruptive possible for the program.
- Data gathered for the evaluation needs to be accurate.
- The evaluation needs to be achievable with the resources
available, especially time and money.
H. (1988). The five-tiered approach to evaluation: Context and
implementation. In H. B. Weiss & F. H. Jacobs (Eds.), Evaluating
Family Programs, New York: Aldine DeGruyter.
Patton, M. Q. (1997). Utilization-focused evaluation. (3rd
Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (1994).
The program evaluation standards: How to assess evaluations
of educational programs. (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA:
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